Business benefits from free solar panel scheme
A Lowestoft-based charity is the first organisation to benefit from free solar panels as part of a council’s recently launched Renewable Energy Fund.
Nirvana Health and Fitness, on Pinbush Road in Lowestoft, now features a 70kWp solar panel installation and is benefitting from zero-carbon electricity.
It comes as Suffolk County Council’s £400,000 Renewable Energy Fund is open to eligible businesses looking to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint through solar power.
Successful applicants will have solar panels supplied and installed for free.
As the fund benefits from income generated by the sale of the solar-generated electricity, it means money goes back into the pot to allow further solar panel applications installed across Suffolk.
Richard Rout, cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said: “This is a very exciting project to assist Suffolk’s businesses with the costs of installing solar panels.
“I have heard from businesses who have previously considered solar panels, but the cost of equipment and installation put them off.
“With this new fund, they do not have to find this initial injection of cash, we’ll do that for them.
“Now, more than ever, as local businesses look to recover from the impact of coronavirus, every penny counts.
“The council declared a climate emergency last year and this fund is yet another way that we are working towards a carbon-free future, and also supporting local businesses recover from coronavirus.”
The fund complements the council’s and the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership’s other established projects which are supporting the county’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Joe Annis, landlord at Pinbush Road and SLT Group trustee, said: “SLT Group, which owns Nirvana Health and Fitness, already holds a Gold Carbon Charter award – a sign of our longstanding committment to providing the best quality services to our customers in a sustainable manner.
“We have a strong track record of re-investing back into sport and leisure to continually improve the lives and opportunities of residents and visitors to our area, and this arrangement frees up further resource for this aim.
“We are delighted to be partnering Suffolk County Council in this initiative.”